Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 3
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Centre Bell, Montréal, Québec
Auston Matthews had two goals and two assists to extend his personal point streak to 16 games, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens 5-3 at Bell Centre on Saturday.
Matthews has scored 28 points (18 goals, 10 assists) during the streak, and his active 13-game point streak is the longest in the NHL this season. It was his second straight four-point game and his seventh in the NHL, coming in his 300th game.
Mitchell Marner had a goal and two assists, and Frederik Andersen made 30 saves for Toronto (14-3-2), which has won three straight.
“I think night in and night out the recipe for our success is us competing and working hard and really just working to get that puck back,” Matthews said. “I think we’ve just been focused on that and it’s been working. We’re winning games right now, which is the most important thing. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy, we’re all happy. We just want to continue that.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Paul Byron and Tyler Toffoli scored for Montréal (9-5-2), which played its first game since a 2-1 win at Toronto a week ago. Carey Price made 22 saves.
“We gave them the win with our mistakes,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “The decisions we made are what cost us the game.”
Matthews scored for a fourth straight game at 1:03 of the second period, making it 1-0 with a one-timer from the right side on a 5-on-3 power play.
After a Canadiens turnover in the neutral zone, Travis Boyd scored the Maple Leafs’ second power-play goal in 17 seconds when he finished off a passing play with Matthews and Joe Thornton at 1:20 for a 2-0 lead.
Kotkaniemi drove in alone on Andersen and scored on a wrist shot into the top left corner at 3:24 to cut it to 2-1. Byron tied it 2-2 when he roofed a backhand for Montréal’s second breakaway goal in 33 seconds at 3:57.
Matthews got his third point with an assist when Toronto went up 3-2 on Marner’s goal at 7:31.
“I think when our line comes out of the zone with the puck in our hands we’re feeling pretty confident that we can do some pretty good things in the offensive zone,” Marner said. “We just want to keep working together, support each other, talk to each other.”
Matthews made it 4-2 with the Maple Leafs’ third power-play goal at 15:05. He scored his NHL-leading 18th goal with a low wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle that went in off Price’s right pad.
“They had three power-play goals tonight, that’s the difference in the game,” Byron said of Toronto, which was 3-for-4 on the power play. “If we get the kills, it’s a completely different game for us. And that’s just part of your job. We’ve got to find a way to be better.”
A Montréal goal was disallowed at 15:29 of the second. A video review confirmed the puck crossed the goal line, but a subsequent challenge by Keefe determined that Kotkaniemi’s stick pushed Andersen’s pad.
Alexander Kerfoot scored at 13:36 of the third for a 5-2 lead. Toffoli made it 5-3 at 18:34.
“I didn’t like the chaos that was the second period,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Once we got our lead, we’ve got to do a better job with that. In the third period we were really good in that regard and we just sucked the life out of the game, which is what you want to do when you’ve got a lead against a team like this, especially a fresh team that we knew was going to have lots of legs in the third period.
“We needed to slow the game down, and the guys did a good job of that.”
NOTES: Matthews did not play in a 4-2 win at the Edmonton Oilers on January 22 and has scored 24 points (16 goals, eight assists) in the 13 games since…Matthews scored the first goal for a fourth straight game. He is the twelfth NHL player to do it, the first since André Burakovsky scored first in four consecutive games for the Washington Capitals from January 15-21, 2017. No one has done it in five straight.
Story property of NHL.com, photo property of The Globe & Mail
TOR PEN – 14:14 – Bogosian, slashing
MTL PEN – 19:04 – Mete, hooking
MTL PEN – 19:45 – Chiarot, delay of game
TOR PP2 GOAL – 01:03 – Matthews (Marner, Rielly)
TOR PP GOAL – 01:20 – Boyd (Thornton, Matthews)
MTL GOAL – 03:24 – Kotkaniemi (Tatar, Edmundson)
MTL GOAL – 03:57 – Byron
TOR GOAL – 07:31 – Marner (Matthews, Bogosian)
MTL PEN – 14:24 – Mete, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 15:05 – Matthews (Rielly, Marner)
TOR GOAL – 13:36 – Kerfoot (Spezza, Tavares)
MTL PEN – 16:05 – Anderson, roughing
TOR PEN – 16:05 – Muzzin, roughing
MTL GOAL – 18:34 – Toffoli (Romanov, Gallagher)
MTL PEN – 19:42 – Toffoli, slashing
TOR – Andersen (W, 30-33)
MTL – Price (L, 22-27)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 13+8+6 = 27
MTL – 10+16+7 = 33
TOR – Goaltenders: Frederik Andersen, Michael Hutchinson. Defence: Zach Bogosian, T.J. Brodie, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly (A). Forwards: Travis Boyd, Pierre Engvall, Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, Mitchell Marner (A), Auston Matthews, Ilya Mikheyev, William Nylander, Jason Spezza, John Tavares (C), Joe Thornton, Jimmy Vesey.
MTL – Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Carey Price. Defence: Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Victor Mete, Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Shea Weber (C). Forwards: Josh Anderson, Joel Armia, Paul Byron (A), Phillip Danault, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (A), Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli.
TOR – 14-3-2 (.789)
MTL – 9-5-2 (.625)
⭐ Auston Matthews (TOR)
⭐⭐ Mitchell Marner (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Paul Byron (MTL)